When you think about a hotels reviewer, what image pops to mind? Most likely you imagine a person who stays on the most luxurious hotels of the world, eats in outstanding restaurants and gets treated like a king. Well, this image might be accurate if you imagine a reviewer working for a major publication, such as the Forbes Travel Guide or The LHW. Unfortunately, most hotel reviewers, like myself, are not working for large publications; rather independently. This raises some difficulties which I will state in the next paragraphs.
Hobbyists and small reviewers usually do not have large financial resources. Unlike large publications, who can buy the best equipment in the market, hire renowned journalists and purchase advertisements, people like myself, cannot afford these luxuries. In fact, I cannot even take my own photos of the hotel I feature, instead I am required to reach out to each hotel I would like to feature and receive permission to use their materials, a process which has proven itself to be very difficult.
Most hotels I have been working on were really tough to work with. Public Relations and Marketing departments of luxury hotels will usually give you a hard time, before handing you a permission to use their media materials, even if your purpose is to feature them in a very positive light.
When you create a review, and recommend people to go to a certain place, you have a committed to them and taken responsibility for your recommendation. Surely you will not have a liability for their pleasure, but you will not sleep well at night, if you sent someone to a place which you do not genuinely and honestly like. Research plays a key role in this job. My budget does not allow me to visit personally, or at least send someone I trust to the hotels I feature, instead I depend heavily on distinctions each hotel I feature has won, and on guests reviews of the hotel, who are sharing their experience with the world. Fortunately enough, I have so far received tremendous feedback from people who went to hotels I recommended, something which brings me great fulfillment.
If you are following Copyright practices and honor the intellectual property of the hotels you are featuring, prepare to spend a lot of time on your project. Once you get all the permissions you pursued, you will have to start building up the review. Find the perfect background music, narration, filter unimportant photos and videos, and write a lot of text. Eventually you should wrap everything up in a video which is no longer than ten minutes.
Appreciation and recognition:
Personally, when I finish a review, it fills me with a sense of joy. But sadly, not everyone will like the video you have been working so hard to create, you will not end up with millions of views and you will not get rich from doing it. If you are inconsistent, and do not upload or blog each day, you will simply not get the appreciation and recognition you deserve.
That being said, it is not all bad to review hotels. I know that each review I publish is making the vacation of someone I do not know, into a much better one. Reviewing hotels encourage hotels to deliver a better service and to be more welcoming and accommodating. This work has a wonderful karma to it, and who knows what opportunities this hobby will open for me.
So, what do you think after reading this article? Do you still want to be a hotel reviewer?